The world is in the thick of the COVID 19 pandemic – it has spread to over 70 countries. Fear is rife and paranoia is running amok all across the world. I recently pointed out how negative socio-economic effects are inevitable – something that is apparent anyways. There is a lot we can talk about regarding the latest developments or breaking news pertaining to this pandemic. I think most content on this issue has been covered; particularly how to prepare against or prevent it. In this article, I am going to be covering inspiring stories on some of the responses to COVID 19 by businesses or companies across the world.
Did You Know?
Did you know that one of the reasons why pandemics have far-reaching effects is the late rollout of measures to combat them? This lateness stems from authorities hiding the existence of an outbreak yet the virus will be spreading. In case you are wondering why I am mentioning this, it did happen with this COVID 19. You probably know that the China government operates as an autocracy. It is on good record that they withheld vital information indicating the existence of the virus. Information only got to be released over 1 month after the virus had already started propagating itself. This was a careless and ill-thought move given how easy it can be for pandemics to spread in this day and age. Anyways, despite this, it has been refreshing to see businesses taking centre stage in initiatives aimed at addressing COVID 19 mess.
Continued Remuneration Despite Not Being At Work
Some countries have resorted to stringent measures due to a surge in the number of confirmed cases. Some of these measures have involved having to close schools and places of work amongst other places. Normally not reporting for work means you will not get your normal salary due to the downtime. However, some companies have responded differently by continuing to pay their workers despite them not reporting for duty. One such example is the Apple company who are still paying their staff regardless of them being home. The list of companies doing this is quite lengthy. Another example is Facebook who have given employees who played significant roles during the Corona-induced lockdown US$1000. On top of that, they have also boosted their performance ratings.
Relaxed Service Terms By Some Service Providers
In the USA, internet company AT&T has decided to remove data caps on their services. This they have done in order to allow people unlimited access to data services for easy communication. This has also been done to make it easy for people to have easy access to information round the clock – information which is mostly found online. In the UK, Halifax bank has given its clients a 3-month break on payments on mortgages, credit cards, and loans amongst others. Airbnb resolved to allow guests anywhere in the world to freely cancel with no costs.
COVID 19 Prevention Or Combat Initiatives
Bernard Arnault whose business interests are in the luxury goods industry has transformed 3 of his factories to develop hand sanitizers. These hand sanitizers are going to be availed for free distribution in Europe. If you know Bloomberg magazine then you would be interested to know that its owner, Michael Bloomberg has channelled US$40 million towards preventing or slowing down the virus in countries generally regarded as poor. Tech icon, Michael Dell has injected a total of over US$4 million into helpful causes. Some of his initiatives are aimed at providing medical supplies in China, IT services to key labs in China and funds to several other COVID 19 initiatives globally.
Bill Gates has availed US$100 million towards the detection and treatment of the virus amongst other things. Jack Ma (owner of Alibaba) has channelled US$14 million towards efforts to come up with a vaccine. He is also making available half a million test kits and a million face masks in the USA. Facebook has made a commitment to inject US$20 million towards the UN (United Nations), WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC (Centres for Disease Control). Facebook has also earmarked US$100 million towards issuing grants to small business adversely affected by COVID 19.
These are some of the inspiring responses to COVID 19 by some businesses globally. As for the cure, there is still a lot going on in the craze to find one. In Japan, it has been noted that a particular flu drug (Avigan) carries huge prospects of being a cure. Queensland University in Australia is set to conduct human trials of a dual-drug regime that might prove potent in curing COVID 19. Bear in mind that there are patients who have already been tested on and results were great though there are still other things to be explored in experimenting. In China, it has been reported that the number of new cases has sharply declined. So all in all, it seems this pandemic just might be contained sooner than expected.